Downton Abbey is the most-watched show of Christmas Day 2015

ITV beats BBC for the first time since 2000, but the Queen's Christmas message still tops the TV charts on Christmas Day

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Downton Abbey’s farewell episode was the most-watched TV show of Christmas Day 2015.

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6.9 million viewers watched the ITV festive drama, although the Queen’s Christmas message was watched by more people, with 7.2 million tuning in across BBC and ITV.

It is the first time in 15 years that ITV has beaten the BBC to top spot in the Christmas Day ratings. Strictly Come Dancing’s Christmas Special came in second place behind Downton with 6.5 million viewers, closely followed by Mrs Brown’s Boys and animated family special Stick Man with 6.4 million, both on BBC1.

The Doctor Who Christmas special in its early teatime slot earned 5.8 million viewers, roughly the same as BBC1 period drama Call The Midwife.

EastEnders, which was up against Downton at 8:45pm, pulled in 5.7 million viewers.

However, with no one show breaking the seven million barrier, viewing figures as a whole are down on previous years. More people are expected to turn to catch-up and recording services to watch Christmas Day broadcasts.

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In 2014 after ‘time-shifted’ viewers were included, Mrs Brown’s Boys became the most-watched show of the Christmas period, with 9.69 million consolidated viewers.